With the simple act of putting on a hood, Atlantans stood in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, as part of the filming of a public service announcement against the shooting of the Florida teen.
The 17-year-old was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch captain last month. The shooter, George Zimmerman, is claiming self defense, and has not been arrested.
The Sunday demonstration in midtown’s Piedmont Park is one of many happening throughout the country in response to the case that has protesters calling for action.
One woman became emotional as she talked about being a teen in the 1960s.
“You would think that by now, we would not be experiencing this, and it really hurts," the woman said.
I feel it’s very important to get the word out because it could be me next time. It could be my daughter. It could be somebody’s son,” Nasir Rahim said.
Rahim organized the public service announcement shoot.
“It’s not all about race, it’s about justice,” he told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri, who covered the weekend event.
Organizers said the hoodie itself is symbolic, noting it is not just about Martin, it’s about changing perception.
“You can commit a crime in a three-piece suit. So wearing a hoodie, you know, that’s just judging the book by its cover,” participant Al G. Sillah said.
At Atlanta’s Greater Works Ministry Church Sunday morning, children wore hoodies. The Rev. Ralph Warnock, Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor, also wore one during an emotional service, at which he drew parallels to the Civil Rights era in America.
“Here we are in 2012 and you mean to tell me no arrests, no appropriate investigation,” Warnock said.
Sillah said he wants to focus not just on why Martin was killed, but the need for justice.
“We just want his death not to be in vain,” Sillah said.